Flowers and vegetables do suffer stress. It can be caused by weather changes, transplanting or a variety of conditions. They also benefit from Companion Planting. Research has indicated that vegetables will yield up to twice as much when they are surrounded with plants they relate to.
photo credit: Danielle Scott
I have used companion planting for years and have seen remarkable changes in plants health and growing by planting certain plants together or apart!
You can plan ahead and lie out the garden using this companion list or if your garden is planted try a few extra plants near it companion plant to see if there is a difference.
The following are a list of the top 12 vegetables and their ideal planting companions.
Beans–they like celery and cucumbers but dislike onions and fennel. I also plant near the base of my tomato plants.
Beets–Bush beans, lettuce, onions, kohlrabi, and most members of the cabbage family are companion plants. Keep pole beans and mustard away from them.
Cabbage–Celery, dill, onions and potatoes are good companion plants. They do not like strawberries, tomatoes, and pole beans.
Carrots–Leaf lettuce, radish, onions and tomatoes are their friends. Carrots do not like dill so plant it at the opposite end of the garden.
Corn–Pumpkins, peas, beans, cucumbers and potatoes are nice companion plants. Keep the tomatoes away from them. The main reason for this is both corn and the tomato is susceptible to the corn worm.
Cucumbers–They like corn, peas, radishes, beans and sunflowers. Cucumbers dislike aromatic herbs and potatoes so keep separated.
Lettuce–It grows especially well with onions. Onions will also deter the rabbits from munching on the lettuce. Strawberries carrots, radishes and cucumbers also are friends of lettuce and good companion plants.
Onions–Plant them near lettuce, beets, strawberries and tomatoes but keep them away from peas and beans.
Peas–Carrots, cucumbers, corn, turnips and radishes plus beans, potatoes and aromatic herbs are their friends. Keep the peas away from onions, garlic, leek, and shallots.
Radishes–This is one vegetable that has a lot of friends; they are excellent companion plants with beets, carrots, spinach and parsnips. Radishes grow well with cucumbers and beans. It’s said that summer planting near leaf lettuce makes the radishes tender. Avoid planting radishes near cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi or turnips. I also use radishes as a natural repellant for squash bugs. Let the radish mature and go to seed. It works wonders.
photo credit: kthread
Squash–Icicle radishes, cucumbers and corn are among their friends. They seem to get along with most plants and have no real dislikes.
Tomatoes–Carrots, onions and parsley are good companion plants. Keep the cabbage and cauliflower away from them. Again the tomatoes, cabbage and cauliflower share the same problem with insects and do better planted away form each other.
All plants are not Friends Plant friendships can be one-sided. Carrots are said to help beans, but beans don’t reciprocate. Though beans will help nearby cucumbers.
Other plants have bad companions and you’ll be doing them a favor to keep them apart. Beans and onions are natural enemies so I keep them on opposite sides of the garden.
Organic sites and books will have more information on companion planting and trail and error works the best.
All I know is companion gardening has worked wonders for me. It makes better crops and controls insects. “Carrots Love Tomatoes” is an excellent book for learning more about companion planting.
One other thing I like about companion gardening. It breaks you out of clumping all vegetables; herbs and flowers in one spot and gives your garden a more natural look.